EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

In this article, you will learn about EFT, also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques. EFT is a powerful method that combines elements of traditional Chinese medicine with psychology to help individuals release emotional blockages and promote healing. By tapping specific meridian points on your body while focusing on the issue at hand, EFT can help you alleviate emotional distress, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well-being. Discover how this simple yet effective technique can empower you to achieve emotional freedom and find balance in your life.

Understanding EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

What is EFT?

EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, is a therapeutic approach rooted in the principles of energy psychology. It combines elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine, psychology, and neurology to address emotional distress and promote overall well-being. EFT involves tapping specific acupressure points on the body while focusing on a particular emotional issue or problem. This gentle technique aims to release energetic blockages and restore the balance of the body’s energy system, leading to emotional healing and relief from physical symptoms.

Historical Background

EFT was developed by Gary Craig in the 1990s, building upon the work of Dr. Roger Callahan and his Thought Field Therapy (TFT). TFT was designed to resolve psychological issues by tapping on specific points of the body’s meridian system. Craig simplified the process, creating a more accessible and user-friendly technique known as EFT. Since then, EFT has gained popularity worldwide, with numerous practitioners and individuals experiencing its benefits.

The Basis of EFT

The underlying foundation of EFT is the belief that emotional and physical discomfort stems from disruptions in the body’s energy system. Drawing inspiration from acupuncture and acupressure, EFT posits that physical and emotional imbalances can be addressed by stimulating specific points along the body’s meridian pathways. These meridians are channels through which vital energy, or “qi,” flows, and any disruptions in the energy flow can result in emotional and physical ailments. By tapping on these meridian points, EFT aims to restore the smooth flow of energy and alleviate emotional distress.

How EFT Works

The Fundamental Principles

EFT operates on several fundamental principles. One of the main principles is that unresolved emotional experiences can result in energy disruptions and negative emotions. EFT aims to address these disruptions and emotions by combining cognitive and physical elements, which enable the integration of new beliefs and positive emotions. Another principle is that the body and mind are interconnected, and both must be addressed for complete healing to occur. EFT recognizes the mind-body connection and acknowledges that emotional distress can manifest in physical symptoms.

The Meridian System

The meridian system is an integral aspect of EFT. It is a network of energy pathways that correspond to specific organs, emotions, and physical conditions in Traditional Chinese Medicine. According to this ancient healing tradition, balancing the meridians restores harmony and promotes well-being. EFT utilizes some of the major meridian points, such as the ones located on the face, hands, and upper body. By tapping on these points, EFT aims to release blocked energy and restore balance to the body’s energy system.

The Tapping Process

The tapping process is a significant component of EFT. It involves gently tapping on specific acupressure points while focusing on a particular emotional issue or problem. To initiate the tapping process, one begins by identifying and verbalizing the issue or problem. While tapping on the acupressure points, the individual continues to acknowledge and accept their feelings related to the issue. This tapping sequence is repeated several times, allowing the energy disruptions to release and the emotional distress to diminish. The individual may experience a sense of relief as they tap through the points and process their emotions.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

Benefits of EFT

Release of Emotional Stress

EFT is highly effective in releasing emotional stress and helping individuals process and navigate through difficult emotions. By tapping on the acupressure points, EFT helps to neutralize negative emotions associated with past traumas, current stressors, and limiting beliefs. This release of emotional stress can lead to improved emotional well-being, increased resilience, and a greater sense of inner peace.

Improvement in Physical Symptoms

Due to the mind-body connection, EFT has been known to have positive effects on physical symptoms. Individuals who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, or other physical ailments have reported a decrease in symptoms after using EFT. By addressing the underlying emotional and energetic imbalances, EFT can alleviate physical discomfort and promote overall physical well-being.

Managing Addiction and Psychological Disorders

EFT has shown promise in managing addiction and psychological disorders. By tapping on the emotional and energetic aspects of these conditions, individuals can gain insight into their triggers and patterns. This increased awareness, combined with the release of emotional stress, can lead to a reduction in addictive behaviors and the management of psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Enhancing Performance and Personal Growth

EFT can be a valuable tool for enhancing performance and fostering personal growth. By addressing emotional barriers and limiting beliefs, individuals can overcome self-doubt and cultivate confidence. Whether in sports, public speaking, or career aspirations, the emotional freedom gained through EFT can unlock one’s full potential and lead to greater success and personal fulfillment.

The EFT Procedure


Before engaging in an EFT session, it is important to create a quiet and comfortable environment free from distractions. Find a peaceful space where you can focus on your emotions and thoughts without interruption. Take a few moments to center yourself and set an intention for your EFT practice.

Identifying and Assessing the Issue

The next step in the EFT procedure involves identifying and assessing the emotional issue or problem you wish to address. This could be a specific traumatic event, a general feeling of anxiety or sadness, or any other emotional challenge you may be experiencing. It is essential to be clear and specific about the issue you want to work on during your EFT session.

The Setup Statement

The setup statement is a key component of the EFT process. It involves creating a verbal affirmation that acknowledges the issue you are working on while accepting and loving yourself. The setup statement is typically phrased as “Even though I have this problem/feeling, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” This statement allows you to acknowledge your emotions with compassion and self-acceptance.

The Tapping Sequence

The tapping sequence is the core of EFT. It involves tapping on specific acupressure points while repeating affirmations or phrases related to the issue at hand. The points commonly tapped include the top of the head, eyebrows, side of the eyes, under the eyes, under the nose, chin, collarbone, and under the arm. While tapping each point, one should focus on the issue or emotion and maintain self-acceptance and compassion. The tapping sequence is repeated several times, allowing the emotional distress to dissipate.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

Applications of EFT

Stress and Anxiety

EFT has been widely used to reduce stress and anxiety. By addressing the underlying emotional causes of stress and anxiety, individuals can experience a sense of relief and calmness. Regular practice of EFT can help manage day-to-day stressors and provide tools to navigate through challenging situations with greater ease.

Phobias and Fears

EFT has been effective in alleviating phobias and fears. By tapping on the acupressure points and addressing the emotional distress associated with specific triggers, individuals can gradually release the fear response. This process allows individuals to regain control over their emotional reactions and live more freely without being limited by their phobias.

Trauma and PTSD

EFT has shown promising results in working with trauma and PTSD. By gently tapping on the acupressure points and focusing on the traumatic event or memory, individuals can experience relief from the emotional distress associated with these experiences. EFT can provide a safe and effective method for processing and healing from traumatic events.

Pain Management

EFT can be used as a complementary technique for pain management. By addressing the emotional aspects of pain, individuals can experience a reduction in pain symptoms. EFT can be particularly beneficial for chronic pain conditions, as it addresses the underlying emotional imbalances that may contribute to the persistence of pain.

Weight Loss

EFT has been utilized in the area of weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes. By tapping on the acupressure points and focusing on emotional barriers to weight loss, individuals can overcome self-sabotaging behaviors and establish a healthier relationship with their body and food. EFT can address emotional eating, body image issues, and other emotional factors that may contribute to weight gain.


EFT can play a significant role in addiction recovery by addressing the emotional aspects of addiction. By tapping on the acupressure points and targeting the emotional triggers and cravings associated with addiction, individuals can increase their chances of successfully overcoming addictive behaviors. EFT can be utilized in conjunction with traditional addiction treatment approaches to support individuals in their recovery journey.

Performance Enhancement

EFT has been used by athletes, performers, and individuals in various fields to enhance their performance. By addressing performance anxiety, self-doubt, and limiting beliefs, EFT can help individuals tap into their full potential and achieve their goals. EFT provides a tool for managing nerves, boosting confidence, and improving focus and concentration.

Self-esteem and Confidence

EFT can be a valuable tool for improving self-esteem and confidence. By addressing underlying emotional issues and negative self-beliefs, individuals can cultivate self-acceptance and develop a positive self-image. EFT can help individuals let go of self-criticism and embrace their worthiness and unique qualities.

Relationship Issues

EFT can be utilized to address relationship issues and improve interpersonal dynamics. By tapping on the emotional aspects of relationship conflicts, individuals can gain insight into their own emotions and behaviors, as well as those of their partner. EFT can support the resolution of conflicts, the development of effective communication skills, and the rebuilding of trust and connection.

Limiting Beliefs and Negative Emotions

EFT is highly effective in addressing limiting beliefs and negative emotions that hinder personal growth and success. By tapping on the acupressure points and challenging these beliefs and emotions, individuals can release emotional blocks and create new empowering beliefs. EFT can support individuals in reframing their perspectives and achieving personal transformation.

Scientific Research and Evidence

Studies Supporting EFT

Scientific research exploring the efficacy of EFT has shown promising results. Several studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and pain. For example, a 2016 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease found that EFT was associated with significant improvements in anxiety symptoms. Additionally, a 2017 review of EFT for PTSD published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine concluded that EFT showed positive effects in reducing PTSD symptoms. These studies provide evidence for the effectiveness of EFT as a therapeutic approach.

Criticism and Controversies

While EFT has gained recognition and acceptance in many therapeutic circles, it also faces criticism and controversies. Some argue that EFT lacks a solid scientific basis and that its effects are merely due to a placebo effect. Additionally, EFT’s reliance on the meridian system and energy flow may be seen as unscientific by skeptics. Despite these criticisms, numerous individuals and practitioners continue to report positive outcomes and personal experiences with EFT.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

Finding an EFT Practitioner

Choosing a Certified Practitioner

When seeking an EFT practitioner, it is essential to choose someone who is certified and well-trained in EFT. Look for practitioners who have completed reputable training programs and have experience working with a variety of issues. Certification from organizations such as the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) or the International EFT Guild can ensure that the practitioner has met specific standards of competency and ethical practice.

What to Expect in a Session

During an EFT session with a certified practitioner, you can expect a safe and confidential space to explore your emotions and challenges. The practitioner will guide you through the tapping process, helping you identify and address the emotional issues you wish to work on. They will provide guidance, support, and feedback throughout the session to facilitate your healing and growth.

Costs and Availability

The cost of an EFT session can vary depending on the practitioner’s experience, location, and other factors. It is advisable to inquire about the fees and any package options when contacting a practitioner. EFT is gaining popularity, and practitioners can be found worldwide, offering both in-person and online sessions. Availability may vary, so it is recommended to check with practitioners in your area or search for online practitioners who are accessible regardless of location.

Combining EFT with Other Therapies

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

EFT can be complemented by other therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT focuses on identifying and modifying negative thinking patterns and behaviors. By incorporating EFT into CBT sessions, individuals can address the emotional aspects of their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, leading to more comprehensive and effective therapy outcomes.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a psychotherapy approach used to treat trauma and PTSD. It involves bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or taps, while focusing on traumatic memories. EFT can be combined with EMDR to address emotional components and promote emotional and energetic integration. This combined approach can enhance the effectiveness of trauma therapy and support individuals in their healing journey.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

MBSR is a widely used approach for stress reduction and promoting overall well-being. By incorporating EFT into mindfulness practices, individuals can address emotional aspects and energy imbalances that may contribute to stress and discomfort. The combination of mindfulness and EFT can provide a holistic approach to stress management and emotional healing.

Effectiveness and Limitations of EFT

Success Rates

The effectiveness of EFT varies among individuals and depends on various factors, including the nature of the emotional issue, the commitment to the EFT practice, and the skill of the practitioner. While some individuals may experience immediate relief and significant improvements, others may require more time and practice. Overall, many individuals report positive outcomes and significant emotional healing through consistent and dedicated EFT practice.

Factors Influencing Effectiveness

Several factors can influence the effectiveness of EFT. These include the individual’s willingness to fully engage in the process, the severity and complexity of the emotional issue, and the individual’s openness to exploring and addressing underlying emotions. The quality of the therapeutic relationship between the practitioner and the client also plays a significant role in the effectiveness of EFT. Open communication, trust, and a safe therapeutic environment are essential for optimal outcomes.

Situations that may be Challenging for EFT

While EFT can be highly beneficial in addressing various emotional issues, there may be some situations where additional or alternative therapeutic approaches may be necessary. Complex and deep-rooted trauma, severe mental health conditions, or specific physiological disorders may require a multidisciplinary approach and the involvement of additional healthcare professionals. In these cases, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare provider or therapist to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Ethical Considerations and Precautions

Limits of Self-Help

While EFT can be used as a self-help technique, certain issues may require the support of a certified EFT practitioner or a qualified mental health professional. Trauma, complex emotional issues, and severe mental health conditions are examples of situations in which professional guidance is recommended. It is essential to recognize your limitations and seek professional help when necessary to ensure your safety and well-being.

Potential Emotional Intensity

EFT can sometimes evoke intense emotions during the practice. It is important to approach the process with self-compassion and to pace yourself according to your comfort level. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a break, practice self-care, and consider reaching out to a supportive person or professional for guidance.

Effects on Existing Medication or Treatment

If you are currently taking medication or undergoing other treatments, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating EFT into your wellness routine. EFT can complement conventional treatment approaches, but it is essential to ensure that there are no contraindications or potential interactions between EFT and your existing medication or treatment plan.

Importance of Professional Guidance

While EFT can be practiced as a self-help technique, working with a certified EFT practitioner can provide valuable guidance and support. A trained practitioner can help navigate through challenging emotions, address specific issues, and provide personalized techniques and strategies. They can also ensure ethical practice and maintain a safe therapeutic space for healing and growth.

In conclusion, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is an innovative therapeutic approach that combines elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine, psychology, and neurology. By tapping on specific acupressure points and addressing emotional issues, EFT aims to restore the body’s energy balance and promote emotional healing. EFT has been shown to have numerous benefits, ranging from the release of emotional stress to the management of addiction and improvement in performance. However, it is crucial to approach EFT with caution and seek professional guidance when necessary. With its growing popularity and increasing scientific research, EFT is becoming recognized as an effective tool for emotional well-being and personal growth.

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